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(CNN)   Preacher wishes people would stop dressing so badly for church, because while Jesus may love you, he hates that coat, and those shoes... jeez   ( divider line
    More: Silly, Sloppy Sabbath, Windsor Castle, National Catholic Register, Queen of England, dress codes  
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4213 clicks; posted to Main » on 22 Apr 2014 at 9:51 AM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2014-04-22 10:50:29 PM  

lilplatinum: brimed03: It's not and, except for the bit about productivity, I agree. Don't show up to your brother's wedding in pajamas. Don't show up to grandpa's funeral in shorts and a Juggaloes tee. Don't show up to the classy gentleman's club in a collar-less shirt.

Seriously, dressing better for the nudie bar than for church? Yes: unlike the nudie bar, the church will (or should) warmly welcome you *whatever* you wear. That doesn't mean you take advantage of that by wearing crap if you've got better. God doesn't care, but show some respect for where you are and the people you're with.

People should certainly understand where they are and dress applicably, you should not show up to formal events like a funeral or a wedding outside of how that event expects people to dress.  That would be disrespectful to the *people* hosting the event.

I suppose churches should set this expectation before a question of "disrespect" can be ascertained - if it is a formal church that expects it, than I assume that could be taken as "disrspectful" towards those who run the church (although, If I were still a follower of mesopotamian mythology I would probably think it is more disrespectful to waste money that could be going to helping the poor and dry cleaning my suit so that I can show off to my peers in a meaningless display of peacocking).

The idiots who decry the fact that people no longer dress up to get on planes, or that employees who don't see customers should somehow have to wear suits like I do are just old people angry that the world has changed, just like I am sure their grandparents decried thing x they did that was 'disrespectful' to their lemming like servitude towards tradition.

See, you hit the nail on the head, but the wrong way.  Churches shouldn't need to clarify that they are "formal"; wearing one's Sunday best has been the expectation, so if anything they would need to clarify that they are "casual."  Which very, very few have done; perhaps one or two protestant denominations, but frankly that always struck me as a barely more subtle version of this sort of thing:

upload.wikimedia.orgView Full Size

Do you need fancy clothes to go to mass?  Nope.  If all you own are torn cargo shorts and broken sandals, come on in and welcome; no need to sit in the back either.  Or at least, that's how it should be, and I recognize there are some Church Ladies and even priests who violate this.  But mainly, the complaint is with the folks who pile out of their late-model, air-conditioned, built-in GPS, headrest-mounted video screened SUVs wearing what they might wear to the mall.  When did the status of attending mass at church fall to the level of going to the mall?  How do so many people not see this as a problem?  It's distressing because most of the time it's an indication of a form of casualness that has no place in worship.  And that's an old-fashioned word, I know, and I risk prejudicing my argument by using it.  But community events are supposed to be not-common; they're supposed to be special.  You dress up for the town dance, for graduation ceremonies.  And community worship is supposed to be even more special.  There's a reason they call churches "God's house."  The community is gathering for a meal and conversation with each other and with God.  I think that calls for dressing at least on par with a high school graduation, don't you?

Oh.  The dry-cleaning-vs-charitable-giving thing?  So don't dry clean your suit.  Generations of people have (and still do) maintain immaculate "Sunday" wardrobes without spending more than a couple of cents on home-based cleaning and ironing.  It is possible to dress respectfully and still give to the collection plate.
2014-04-22 10:53:38 PM  

WeenerGord: brimed03: Seriously, dressing better for the nudie bar than for church? Yes: unlike the nudie bar, the church will (or should) warmly welcome you *whatever* you wear. That doesn't mean you take advantage of that by wearing crap if you've got better. God doesn't care, but show some respect for where you are and the people you're with.

Apparently, there are some churches where you can wear actual crap, and urine too, running down your leg, and the well dressed rich will love on you for it congratulate each other for tolerating you. Go figure.

2014-04-22 11:00:03 PM  
ciberido:  Personally I'm of the school of thought that a Christian's prime directive is to convince non-Christians they should give Christianity a try.  Everything else, even praising God, giving thanks unto Him, etc. is subordinate to that.  I can praise God all the live-long day once I'm in Heaven.  But I won't be meeting many non-Christians up there, will I?  So I'd better focus on the non-Christians while I can --- while I'm on Earth.

To be honest, I don't give what I wear to church that much thought, but if I do think the matter over, the question in my mind is, "What will give the best possible impression to any non-Christians visiting the church today?" not "What will look the most pious?" or "What will get the approval of my fellow Christians?"

It's not my school of thought, but I can understand the looking-good-for-conversions thing as "look, what we do here matters and is an occasion for respect-- for God, for each other, and for you."  That aligns with what I've said about how dressing for church (any church) matters because it's an important community occasion and a cause for showing respect.
2014-04-22 11:23:45 PM  

ciberido: brimed03: And then everybody loses their minds when the Catholics "refuse to get with the 21st century" over issues with actual faith implications like reproductive technology.

I realize you aren't speaking of me specifically, and I hesitate to say anything to you that is defensive or argumentative, since you've been very polite and rational, two characteristics rather uncommon in Fark threads.  Yet I'd like to address that point all the same, and I'm sorry to say it will be argumentative.  Bear in mind I am a Christian but not a Catholic; if that makes my argument any more or less valid in your mind, so be it.

None of these issues are new.  Birth control predates Jesus.  Abortion predates Jesus.  Gay marriage predates the Bible (even if it didn't, would you argue the Bible forbids something that didn't exist yet?)  Female priests predate Christianity, and the Catholic Church in particular ordained female bishops and deaconesses for hundreds of years before that changed in the 12th century.   As  Ecclesiastes 1:9 says, there is nothing new under the sun.  So, I'm sorry, but "the Church changes glacially on many things" isn't really an excuse.  You have had since before you even existed to "get with the times" --- and the farking BC times at that.

If you truly believe that the Catholic Church's positions reflect the Will of God, then by all means, stick to your guns and more power to you.  We can agree to disagree and go our separate ways.  But please do not try to make excuses about history and tradition and slow change.  None of that applies to topics that predate the birth of Christ.

Not to worry, you're actually on my Favorites list, largely because you contribute meaningful, thoughtful discussion.  My temper only flares up when someone is dismissively disrespectful.  And now I can hear a bunch of Fark trolls writing that little note down.

You raise a great point, and "there is nothing new under the Sun" is one of my favorite human observations.  Yes, it's true: all these issues and more pre-date Catholicism.  And yet, positions have to be "staked out," as it were, and in time these positions become established dogma.  Your misunderstanding of my post is that I am not talking about the correctness of dogma, but the difficulty in changing it.  If Christians of any denomination schism over petty things like the choice of music, how difficult must it be to enact changes that will move a church forward without leaving anyone behind?  Frankly, it's impossible, and the Catholic church lost many followers after Vatican II.  They also picked up even more new (including returning) parishioners, and that sort of trade-off is probably happening again right now under Francis.  But the Church won't see that as a good thing.

The Church can't see a "net gain" as a good thing because the Church sees it self as responsible for all souls.  So a soul "left behind" by change is a soul lost, and that is a grievous thing.  You can counter that a soul not-gained because of unwillingness to change is equally grievous, and a lot of Churchmen have made exactly that argument for centuries.  Either way, it's a really difficult road to walk.

Of course, the Church also has a much vaster vision than any of us are used to.  We think, at most, in terms of decades.  The Church has existed for two millenia, and thinks in terms of centuries.  It has to, because the social norms and demands of today are vastly different from what they were two centuries ago, and will be be equally different two centuries from now.  A church that modifies its dogma to fit "current" ideas is, in the long view, a wildly unstable and uncommitted church.  It looks more like a politician than the messenger of God.

Since you showed me yours, I should probably show you mine: I never said I was Catholic.  :)  Really, go back and check.  But in truth, I was raised Catholic and had a lot of really interesting education from non-dogmatic priest and lay teachers at various points.  What am I now?  Not sure.  Hit a crisis of faith and got stuck there a long time ago.  I'm definitely not atheist, and am equally not dogmatic Catholic (I was never that).  You'd probably be surprised at how many issues you raised above that we'd agree on.  But I have perhaps a little more patience for the dilemma of change that the Catholic Church faces.  It's really not as easy as it seems, when every soul matters-- and human frailty makes it so easy to lose the ones you've got.
2014-04-23 11:47:12 AM  
Many, many thoughts on this thread.

Someone compared going to a country club vs. going to church.  Generally getting into a country club the person wants to be there.  Generally with church the church wants you there.  That being said as a former church goer I am surprised (but not appalled) that people often wear shorts and flip flops to church.

Any priest (or anyone else) telling a man to cut their hair should just be told you're trying to look like Jesus.

Society evolves and along with it how people dress also does.  Look at any old newsreels of the Babe Ruth era Yankees.  Everyone at the ball park is in a suit or a dress.  Welfare/bread lines?  People in suits.  Society has evolved.

On the few occasions I have been to church in the last few decades I have noticed how much it reminds me of a nazi rally.  Statement/response.  Statement/response.  There is no thought behind it, it is a learned response.

Lastly the church (Catholic) really made church much worse with the updates to how they are done a few years ago.  The verbiage was changed to be much harsher and much more "the church is infallible".  If I wasn't already anti-organized religion, this would have pushed me further that direction.

//I missed church a total of one week until I left home for college.  Since then I have never went more than once or twice a year (barring weddings and funerals).

//Don't think I'm smart enough to know about a higher power, but also believe that no one else is either.  I don't think any religion has it right, and many have it very wrong.
2014-04-23 12:04:31 PM  

brimed03: See, you hit the nail on the head, but the wrong way.  Churches shouldn't need to clarify that they are "formal"; wearing one's Sunday best has been the expectation, so if anything they would need to clarify that they are "casual."

Churches are just clubs, if the majority of that club thinks dressing in way x is appropriate, and the leadership of said club thinks it is inappropriate, it is the obligation of club leadership to clarify the dress code.  Otherwise the dress code will be defined by the views of the club membership.

Something tells me most clubs value their membership dues they collect once a week more than their dress codes, which is why they don't press it... shielding child molestors ain't cheap.
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